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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.

 

Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?

 

Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.

 

For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.

 

Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Eddie Jefferson's Comments

Comment Wall (24 comments)

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At 4:22am on June 10, 2018, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

*I don’t want to overlook Annie Ross’ pioneering vocalese contributions
from the early 1950s, when she crafted original, witty lyrics to Wardell
Gray’s recordings of “Twisted,” “Farmer’s Market,” and “Jackie.”

Bob Bernotas

At 4:21am on June 10, 2018, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

August 2017
Hi Friends —
vocalese: a genre of jazz singing in which lyrics are written and sung to
melodies that originally were improvised instrumental jazz solos
Yes, there are a few earlier, one-off instances of vocalese writing
and singing, but Eddie Jefferson is understood to have invented
the genre sometime in the 1940s. (But not the word — he
preferred “vocalmentals.”) Jon Hendricks, largely through his
work with the trio, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, during the
1950s and ‘60s is the genre’s most prolific exponent. And it is
about time the two of them were included in any serious
discussion of American song’s most important lyricists.*
People always ask, “Which comes first, the words or the
music?” (Sammy Cahn always answered, “The money!”) Well,
Lorenz Hart wrote lyrics to Richard Rodgers’ melodies, but then
Rodgers set melodies to Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics. Anyway,
few lyricists ever tried to put words to music as complex as solos
by James Moody or Miles Davis, or full performances by the
Duke Ellington Orchestra or the Horace Silver Quintet. But
that’s exactly what Eddie Jefferson and Jon Hendricks did.
Their methods were slightly different, but equally inventive. Eddie
wrote in a decidedly “stream of consciousness” manner, letting
the flow and the contour of a particular solo carry his imagination
to wherever it might take him. Jon generally found his inspiration
in the songs’ titles, often spinning them into clever threecharacter
“plays” for himself, Dave Lambert, and Annie Ross.
“It’s like opera,” he once mused, “except it’s bopera.”
Now add to their creativity, complexity, and immense body of
work one more credential: their connection to music beyond jazz.
If you strip away the melody — but don’t, OK? — you can hear
the roots of rap in Eddie’s lyric to James Moody’s solo on “Lester
Leaps In,” retitled “I Got the Blues.” And Jon’s erudite, upbeat,
life-affirming lyrics, like the one he wrote to Miles Davis’ “Four,”
are echoed in the positive messages of funk hits like Earth, Wind
& Fire’s “Shining Star,” Tower of Power’s “What is Hip?” and Sly
and the Family Stone’s “Everybody Is a Star.”
Poet-historian Hilaire Belloc declared, “It is the best of all trades
to make songs, and the second best to sing them.” And Eddie
Jefferson and Jon Hendricks have done both with as much skill
and artistry as any man or woman who ever put words to music.
Stay cool, and keep list’nin’,
Bob Bernotas - Just Jazz e-Newsletter

At 5:57am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:57am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:55am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:55am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:53am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:52am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 5:51am on September 5, 2017, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 10:15pm on August 3, 2011, Jack Bishop said…
Eddie was one of the most unique jazz singers in history. Always loved his soul!!
At 9:49pm on August 3, 2011, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Happy Birthday Eddie! Your sound will always be a favorite of mine , phrasing lyrics and warmth. - kev
At 7:39pm on August 3, 2011, Marta Graciela Bressi said…
Dear Eddie Jefferson ,

I´d really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my work and leave your impressions here or in the guestbook on my homepage -http://www.miartemartagracielabressi.webs.com/- where there are more samples of my digital art works, engravings and sculptures. The web site´s in Spanish but, if you want to read the texts in English, you can access my Livejournal:

http://pallasatheneas.livejournal.com

You can also visit the website we created with the Belgian jazz musician Dirk Schreurs to make our recent video art collaboration known to the world:

http://www.mindsofglass.webs.com/
¨
Minds of Glass:  ¨All visual compositions perfectly match the soundtrack’s expressive aesthetics in terms of emotional content and artistic strength” (New York/Los Angeles Independent Media Board).


http://cminejazz.com/show/2010/11/12/minds-of-glass

http://martagracielabressistudios.webs.com/

If it doesn't work, simply copy and paste the link on your browser. You'll find new images in the gallery.


Regards,

Marta

P.S.: Unfortunately, I' ve got too many contact on the network to add more.Feel free to add me if you want.


At 3:33am on October 19, 2010, Jerry Lucarelli gave Eddie Jefferson a gift
Gift
Eddie, The boss of jazz vocals! He is really missed. Jerrt Lucarelli
At 6:38pm on October 17, 2010, Barbara Ray said…
Yes! Very nicely done in keeping the Music Alive!

Barb Ray
At 11:48pm on April 16, 2010, The Brian Edwards Excursion said…
Thank you for the add Mr. Jefferson.
Brian E. Edwards
At 2:10am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 10:37pm on January 1, 2009, Kennard Roosevelt Williams said…
IN REMEMBRANCE; Thank you Eddie for the spectacular sunday matinee performance you and James Moody gave us at the Fantasy Lounge, Trenton, NJ circa April, 1970.
At 6:32pm on September 20, 2008, Luiz Santos said…
Hello Eddie
I wish you an awesome weekend!
Peace, Luiz
At 1:20pm on August 31, 2008, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
By the way - Thanx for the add and most importantly the MUSIC- kevin hurst sr
At 1:18pm on August 31, 2008, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
I came of age as a jazz appreciator in Pittsburgh and getting into Eddie before he left( and George did a decent Moody's )( I knew whom Errol Garner was). Nathan Davis and Andre Previn was there - that was the reasons Pitt was such a great value , because of the city itself. Duquense, Point Park, Chatham,etc. 200 miles from my doorstep! Actually Philly is 100 miles away making Pa. a great jazz state!

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